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This guide will provide resources and assistance to students majoring, minoring, and/or taking classes within the Department of Psychology.

Red Flags of Sources

A graphic listing red flags of information sources. Next to each warning sign is a graphic to symbolize that sign. The title reads "Information source red flags" with two red flag graphics next to it. Below that, the subtitle says "watch out for these potential signs of an untrustworthy source". The warning sides continue as follows: First box: an image of a dollar sign in a hand is next to the text "the source could profit from the information being shared. Example: the source sells a product and claims the product is also shown to work." The second box features a graphic of a briefcase with the following text "the source is a lobbying group, a company or an partisan organization. Example: using statistics provided by the NRA on gun violence." Box three contains a graphic of quotation marks with text "the source contains no citations to back up their claims and only cites their own work. Example: all citations lead back to papers published by the same author." The forth box is that of a thought bubble and has text "the source makes broad sweeping claims that seem too good to be true. Example: the source claims a medical treatment can cure multiple unrelated diseases and disorders" The fifth box contains the image of a man in a hoodie who's face is obscured holding a laptop: the image is meant to depict a hacker. The text says "the source main cites organizations and individuals who are discredited or untrustworthy. Example: the source only cites conspiracy websites and internet forums." Box six contains a graphic of scientific text tubes and has text "the source cites studies with small sample sizes, studies with no peer review, or studies that are retracted. Example: the source claims a study of five people is scientific proof." The seventh box contains a graphic of a hand puppeting a man with the text "the source makes it difficult to find who funds them or who runs their organization OR the source is funded by a clear conflict of interest. Example: a pro fracking site is funded by an oil company." The last box contains a graphic of a microphone and the text "the source makes claims you cannot find reported in other reputable news outlets or journals. Example: the source claims someone can reverse gravity but only they are reporting on it."

Places to Fact Check

Not all scientific studies are created equal: sometimes studies may be retracted due to errors in test results, or considered outdated after a significant amount of time has passed. Below are some resources one can use to check scientific studies to ensure they are accurate and up to date. 


  • Snopes is one of the biggest fact checking websites on the internet and covers a very wide range of topics from the newsworthy (political claims, health treatments) to the more niche (small clickbait stories you might see on Twitter). They have a search bar, which can be invaluable to tracking down specific content. While the ratings of (true, false, misleading, ect) on each article are a quick shorthand to gage accuracy of a story, looking at the full reporting is often valuable as ratings can be subjective and the full reporting allows you to make your own judgement calls. 

Fact Check: 

  • Another general fact checking website. Like Snopes they do have a search feature and they also have a dropdown menu that allows one to browse fact checks by popular topics around the world. They also run Sci Check which fact checks claims about science in the media and Players Guide 2022 which follows groups that seek to influence the 2022 election. The Players Guide is a great resource for recognizing astroturf, which is when lobbying organizations or corporate interest groups impersonate concerned citizens to influence political change. 


  • Politifact is a fact checking website that fact checks political news often with a focus on the United States. They do also cover some non-political viral content, but their focus is the claims of elected officials. Much like Snopes, they have a rating system that accompanies full reporting about each story. 

Real Clear Politics: 

  • Another fact checking website that focuses on politics. They have a database that can be used to find claims by verdict, author and type of bias. 

Retraction Watch

  • Retraction Watch is a database that contains lists of scientific articles that have been retracted. Scientific articles can be retracted for a variety of reasons, but when an article is retracted it is considered not a reliable source of information. One of the great things about Retraction Watch is that the database search includes the reasons an article was retracted in their results which is crucial information that can sometimes be more difficult to find. They also have a blog where they cover retractions on a weekly basis for those interested in scientific fraud. 

All Sides:

  • All Sides is a website that reports on media bias. On their website, they have a media bias chart that labels news sources by their partisan slant. They also have a similar chart for fact checking websites. For those interested in types of media bias, their list of different kinds of bias may be informative.